Buzz: Explore

It’s your year to learn more about what you’re drinking while experiencing a few thrills along the way.


Published: 9/01/2019

Buzz: Explore


A Taste for Adventure

It’s your year to learn more about what you’re drinking while experiencing a few thrills along the way.


Into the Wild

Halter Ranch offers epic wine excursions. To tour the 2,000-acre, 19th-century Paso Robles ranch, you have two choices: to do it by a 1984 Land Rover Defender 110 or by horse. Both are like a wine safari with true wildlife encounters, Instagrammable moments, and wine. 


Cycle Chile

About 45 minutes from Santiago presides one of the oldest Chilean wineries, Santa Rita Vineyard, backdropped by the Andes. It’s a village unto itself with a nearly 100-acre park, museum, gardens, chapel, vineyards, and bottle shop as well as a manor turned hotel. The wine-and-bike tour experience pedals you through the Maipo Valley’s cultural heritage. 


Cyder Scene

Apples are a star in the fall, particularly in European regions where the heirloom fruit is ready for harvest in the main cider locales of Normandy, France; Asturias, Spain; and United Kingdom’s West Country. At Healey’s in the Cornish village of Penhallow, you’ll ride a tractor around the orchards. 


Fancy Footwork

Although the Grape Stomp sounds like a Jazz-era dance step, it’s actually an annual ritual at the famed Napa winery, Grgich Hills. During harvest (August through October), book a Grape Stomp, then roll up your pants, throw off your shoes, and stomp fruit. You’ll arrive clean but will leave grape–stained.


Time Travel

Step into the time machine at Epoch Estate Wines in Templeton on California’s Central Coast. In 1882, it became San Luis Obispo County’s first bonded winery: York Mountain Winery. In the 1900s, it was home to Polish Pianist, Diplomat, and Vintner Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Those legends and lore are dusted off during the winery’s History Tour & Tasting. 


Très Chic

Bordeaux wines are at their best when aged, which requires years of cellaring. The Vintage Tour at France’s Château Kirwan removes the wait and pours samples from its library. Other fun workshops allow guests to learn about wine while making a custom perfume blend.


Paradise Found

At the opposite end of the spectrum are those tasting rooms designed to while away the morning, afternoon, and evening. Time is irrelevant when it’s always wine o’clock.

At the newish 1881 Napa, the flamboyant French Vintner Jean-Charles Boisset renovated a Victorian home into a museum with a first-floor tasting room. 

The Benzinger Family Winery hillside in Sonoma County is both bucolic and biodynamic. The insectory and sheep are only a small part of the fun. There’s also the wine cave, an alluring spot to explore during a tour.  

Niner Wine Estates in Paso Robles is known for its Bordeaux varietals and a heart-shaped stand of oak trees on a LEED-certified property. It’s a little slice of heaven. 

A playground for wine lovers describes Napa’s Brasswood Bar + Kitchen. Caves, a sensory room, and an art gallery pique your imagination.

As seen in the issue Harvest 2019 of Touring & Tasting Magazine.